Kevin C. Cox
The Atlanta Braves are bringing back the controversial mascot to grace their batting practice hats for the 2013 season.
The Atlanta Braves are tipping their caps to a cherished mascot from their past. Or, the Atlanta Braves are digging up a relic of racism and cultural insensitivity that had been thankfully buried for nearly 30 years. Paul Lukas of ESPN's Uni Watch blog has a look at the new designs for batting practice caps that each team will be wearing for the 2013 season, and the design for the new Braves' caps has had a polarizing effect on many baseball fans.
The new Braves' caps feature the old "screaming savage" logo that was part of the official team attire from 1967 to 1989. The mohawked Native American with a feather in his hair is shown with his head tipped back in a tribal yell. Lukas gives the new look an "F" grade, making it the only one to grade so low.
"Last year the Braves conspicuously avoided using their "screaming Indian" logo as a sleeve patch on their retro alternate jersey -- a welcome move for those of us who oppose the appropriation of Native American imagery in sports. Unfortunately, it turns out that the logo hasn't been permanently mothballed. Disappointing."
Many others are disappointed in the move as well, as the movement to remove racial imagery from sports logos and mascots has continued to gain ground. Still, there are some who look at Chief Noc-A-Homa and think not of racial charactures, but of Warren Spahn and Hank Aaron and Dale Murphy.